Our cat friends are alternately amused and annoyed by the latest addition to our ‘animal’ family, Jilly the Zhu Zhu Pet. Jilly is a toy hamster, and according to the Zhu Zhu Pets website, “captain of the pep squad.” She squeals and chatters as she rolls around the floor, turning herself around when she bumps into the furniture or wall. She is super cute and super noisy – she says things like “ready go!” and “ooo weee!” – I wish she had a volume control! My daughter bought Jilly a Giant Hamster Fun House, also by Zhu Zhu Pets, so Jilly doesn’t end up under the sofa or in a cat’s mouth. It has a tunnel with a room on each end – a kitchen/bedroom combination and a bathroom. When she runs into the bathroom, she makes a toilet flushing sound, which is hilarious.
There are nine Zhu Zhu Pets to choose from, and lots of accessories you can buy to play along with them. Our Jilly has a red car bed with a blanket that she can push around. This weekend, we rented the Zhu Zhu Pets game for the Nintendo DS, which makes the same cute noises – with volume control, of course! – as Jilly does. You can unlock hamsters to take care of and take on adventures through mazes, and find baby Zhu Zhu Pets to win trophies. My daughter hints that baby Zhu Zhu Pets would make great Easter gifts – and why not? I don’t think she’ll be less hyper playing with a baby Zhu Zhu than she would after eating a lot of chocolate, though, and neither will our cats, so I expect a non-restful Easter Sunday, with a happy ten year old girl and excited cat friends.